CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday said that the cruise industry had stepped up during the Senate.
Dr. Rochelle said, “I think the conditional Sail Order and the fact that the industry has stepped up and is now interested in exceeding the compliance with the Sail Order without necessarily being in place is a real testimonial to how well that has worked.”
Walensky’s remarks came after she was pressed at the hearing by Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski, asking her about what industry can expect, citing the extensive lengths they have gone in to order hold fast to the COVID-19 protocols.Senator Murkowski praised cruise companies for their efforts, saying, “In fairness, the industry as a whole has taken tremendous precautions to ensure that people are protected from this pandemic.” She asked CDC for the assurance that the Alaskan business can bank on the 2022 cruise season.
Dr. Walensky told Congress the COVID-19 regulations will become voluntary on January 15. CDC expects to shift to the voluntary program. She added, “I anticipate with the ships following the Conditional Sail Order we will continue to do the oversight, watch and (provide) technical assistance and support in every single way,” adding that she could not foretell what the summer would bring.